Ryan Corr reveals fans will be 'surprised' by his new show In Limbo
The House of the Dragon star shares why his new ABC show is so important.
ABC's new black comedy In Limbo, starring Ryan Corr and Bob Morley, looks deeply into men's mental health in a way we haven't seen before on Australian screens.
The show follows Charlie (Corr), who is grieving the death of his best mate Nate (Morley), who takes his own life, shocking those closest to him, including his wife Freya (Emma Harvie).
However, this is not the end of Nate's story, as he cannot transition to the other side and is stuck as a ghost in limbo until he completes his unfinished business on Earth – though he has no idea what it is.
The show begins with Charlie preparing for a funeral and writing a eulogy, which Nate attempts to help him with. However, it's not until Charlie arrives at the funeral that you realise it's for Nate, and Charlie has been speaking to a ghost this whole time.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Ryan reveals why he was drawn to the script and characters.
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"I haven't seen a show try to tackle issues like this in quite the same way," he says of the drama/comedy. "My reaction to the script straight up was I shed a tear, and I laughed, and I really liked the pace at which it moved, it was real page turner, and I wanted to see what happened in the next episode straight away, and usually, that's a pretty telling sign."
The star adds that the themes around mental health were "very important" to him as he has lost friends and loved ones to suicide.
"Seeing the way that [the writers] dealt with that with great care and respect for those ideas, as well as making it more palatable, so we can accept those heavier things. Because we laugh, and there's lightness," he shares.
"And I think what's wonderful, it's really important when talking about this show, not to get bogged down, because it's not, it's full of hope and it's about community and coming together."
Ryan adds that he hopes audiences are attracted to the lightness and the heavy messages of the show, "In life, there's dark, and there's light and shade, you know, and often in the mundane things, and often after something that's been really, really difficult. And I think In Limbo is much more about life than it is about death and about community and moving forward."
The actor explains that the show's stars and directors, Trent O'Donnell and David Stubbs, came together and spoke about approaching the material with sensitivity. They also talked to Dr Zac Seidler, a psychologist, who explained where the characters might be mentally throughout the different phases of the show and the process for the people left behind.
"We all mined our own lives, and we talked with each other, at great length, about our personal lives and created that trust and just made it so that we could all safely feel like we can navigate this territory," Ryan says.
'Probably shouldn't make you laugh'
Speaking about what viewers might not expect from the show, the House of the Dragon star shares, "I hope there's a lot that they don't expect, I think some of the things of the show kind of become as a surprise – part of the comedy is in the shock and the changing of feel."
He adds with a smile, "But, you know, there's a lot of gags that, you know, probably shouldn't make you laugh. I find those moments that you sort of are like 'Oh, wow, that's quite hard,' and then moments later you find yourself kind of laughing through your hands over your face. And that's kind of cathartic, you know, and in life both of those things exist and so, it's gonna be interesting to see the way it lands."
"This isn't one of those shows that tries to hammer these heavy things home and tries to beat you over the head with answers and, 'Let's have a look at this!' It tries to start a conversation. And hopefully, people that watch it can see, both in the characters and in the story, elements of their own lives. I think no one's immune to mental health, you know what I mean, everyone goes through it. So hopefully, in drawing these characters in the story, people can see see parts of their own lives with any luck."
When asked what he wants viewers to take away from the story, Ryan says, "To be moved?"
He adds that he got into the industry because when he was younger, he watched films, and they moved him and taught him things, whether about love or loss.
"I hope in today's current climate, where there's content all over the place, I hope that we've carved a little hole into something that people haven't seen before," the star says. "And I hope that we've done an ambiguous enough job that people can see their own lives and reflections of people in their own lives in all of these characters that are drawn, whether it be Em Harvie's character, Freya, who is very much the emotional weight, and who has to keep life moving forward and keep the edges together, which is her process.
"We've got Nate, who's sort of avoidance in a way and and Charlie, who seems to distract himself instead of actually acknowledging how he feels. And that's just three examples of such a broad range of the way people deal with grief and process, and different parts of life. So I hope that we've done enough of a cross section that you can believe in these characters, and you care about them."
Ryan continues, "[We want it] to normalise conversations about mental health, because ultimately, it's the things that are hidden that are the problem. And so the more we can bring those to light, and the more that we can feel comfortable in doing so, I think that's a positive step in the in the right direction."
Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can be found by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.Online support is available via Beyond Blue.
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